On Friday, September 22 the Mission Integration Committee met and affirmed goals for Year Three of Hope’s commitment to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform:

Goal One: Response to the Cry of the Poor

Goal Two: Ecological Economics

A brief description of both goals is available here. These two goals were chosen because they build on work already being done by Committee members and staff and represent an opportunity for widespread engagement and deepened understanding.

The Solar Panel Subcommittee is investigating the possibility of  ground-mounted solar panels at Mariandale, which have the potential to take our buildings “off the grid.” Catholic Energies has been retained to do a feasibility study. No decision has been made, but information will be presented to the congregation for a vote at a future time if the project is determined to be feasible.

Land Justice shared the congregation will embark on a second year with the Nuns and Nones Land Justice Project.  Committee members and the congregation have been engaged in learning about the themes and spirituality of Land Justice. All members of the Congregation are encouraged to attend the retreat October 23-25 when Shawn Stevens (Red Eagle) of the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans will be present, representing the descendants of the Indigenous inhabitants of the Hudson Valley.

The Ministry Fund received 32 requests for funding, a significant increase. Committee members have reviewed all grants and have been engaged in future planning for the Fund.  More information about the grants and grantees will be communicated to the congregation and general public in upcoming months.

The Racial Relations group at Asbury Towers continues its work engaging residents in anti-racism work and hosted a viewing of the film The Letter, where 20-30 residents watched and discussed the film. All are encouraged to consider viewing or organizing a viewing of the film.

Prior to the meeting Committee members delved into articles and videos on food justice from our webpage for Week Four of the Season of Creation, and there was lively discussion about:

  • Buying products as indicated by The Better World Shopping Guide
  • Investigating co-ops as an alternative to traditional grocery stores
  • Eating less meat and incorporating more plants into our diets
  • Buying seafood from fisheries that do not participate in slave labor and chicken from companies that do not hire undocumented children
  • The difficulty of making healthy choices in our current agricultural and economic system
  • Writing and calling politicians to advocate for systemic change
  • Continuing to look at ethical investing
  • Looking at the human rights violations associated with electric vehicle batteries
  • Participating in Orange Shirt Day
  • Utilizing Hope Notes to share “one thing to consider or do” each week to promote our LSAP goals
  • The impending release of a “new” Laudato Si’ on Oct 4, the Feast Day of St. Francis

Opportunities for education, engagement, and action towards both goals will be made available over the course of 2024. What issues or activities related to our new LSAP goals interest YOU? Please respond in the comments section below.